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Shingeki no Kyojin – 06 »« Shingeki no Kyojin – 04

Shingeki no Kyojin – 05

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「初陣 ―トロスト区攻防戦①―」 (uijin ―Torosuto ku Koubousen ①―)
“First Battle ―Defense of Trost (1)―”

We’ve had a pretty good month of Shingeki no Kyojin, haven’t we? Mother-eating titans, genre-savvy soldiers, potato-eating, potato-farting, Bollywood dancing…all that, and we haven’t even gotten to the moment I’ve been waiting this entire month to see; Steampunk Spidermen vesus the Man-Eating Eotens.

Okay, serious face on; Studio WIT is proving to be the animation team to beat this season. I don’t want to go on too much on their excessive use of still shots, because when the moment counts, they can really dish out some truly spectacular sequences. Sequences like the Shadow of the Colossus-esque opening of this episode, as Erens swings, dodges, and climbs to the weak point of the Colossal Titan.

The entire premise seems completely ridiculous at times; humans using grapple ziplines and dual blades to strike at the Titans’ weak point on the back of their necks. The story’s rationale is that they have insane regenerative abilities, which practically negates the use of projectile weaponry; but it doesn’t quite change how absurd the whole premise seems. Even so, the moment-to-moment action is constantly being pulled off with an excess of bravado and assertiveness; so much so that it becomes utterly awe-inspiring to see those small humans go up against the massive titans. Studio WIT has done a marvellous job in capturing that grandiose, merciless nature of the action, and coupled it with the pulse-pounding orchestral score; the result being an absolute roller-coaster of an episode.

There seems to be two key points on the agenda of this episode; the first being an exploration of the Titans’ nature. There’s some really interesting points raised here; they’re single-minded in their consumption of humans, but it’s not a result of the instinct of survival. Titans are perfectly capable of surviving without nutrition, which then begs the question about the reasons behind their action. It’s hard to believe it’s a natural instinct of any sort; this especially so when we consider the bigger mystery of the Colossal Titan, who seems to defy every assumption humanity had of the titans. There’s a couple of prominent traits that makes it stand out from the rest of the goggley-eyed bunch: Its incredible size for sure, but there’s also the fact that it possesses an intelligence not common to standard titans. And remember the ending of last episode where many were confused about how the colossal titan could approach the wall without anyone noticing? Here, we’re also shown how it can apparently appear and disappear at will. No doubt, a bulk of the story will be about piecing together the mysteries of the Titans.

Then we get to the human side of the picture, and their utter powerlessness when faced with the titans. There’s a sharp irony in Eren’s statement to Jean about remembering their 3 years of training; only for him to later be ambushed and subsequently eaten in a shocking turn of events, before he even had any chance of enacting his vengeance. The first 4 episodes largely saw the powerless children pitted against the titans; but even with the 3 years of training that had him graduating among the top of his class, Eren and his squad could barely put up fight here. It’s already a given that Shingeki no Kyojin was going to be a unforgivingly brutal show; but to see Eren’s squad torn to shreds in those few seconds just brings home how utterly merciless this series is going to be. Humanity at its best has now been shown to be tragically weak, and Eren’s utterly pathetic death only seems to cement that notion of their eventual extinction.

There’s some great emotional real estate that can be mined here; The twist of Eren’s seeming death could drastically change up the dynamics of the rest of the cast we’ve been introduced to, when the most driven, shounen-esque character gets put out of the picture. And then there the immediate aftermath of Mikasa and Armin to consider, when the person they’ve been utterly reliant on for emotional support is now lost to them. (and which the next episode seems to be getting into.) Coupled with studio’s WIT incredible production values, I can truly say this has been the moment in Shingeki no Kyojin I’ve been waiting for; when the action –and by extension, the emotions- in the series gets kicked into overdrive.

Full-length images: 18, 19, 24, 31.

 

Preview

Shingeki no Kyojin   05   Preview 01 Shingeki no Kyojin   05   Preview 02 Shingeki no Kyojin   05   Preview 03
May 5, 2013 at 8:41 am
210 comments »
  • May 8, 2013 at 3:37 amCaptain Sunshine

    This is most likely the show of the season. Nothing really comes close to it in terms of genuine quality content.

  • May 8, 2013 at 11:39 amKing

    Cant wait to see what happens in episode 6,

    PS 200 comments muahahaa. ;)

  • May 8, 2013 at 1:21 pmShin

    I keep wondering who they can replace Erin with as the protagonist, and I simply can’t come up with anything. Unless they do some kind of timeskip, but even then its hard to picture it.

    Is there any kind of plot armor that can protect someone from losing an arm and a leg and being eaten by a titan?? I know its impossible, but I can’t imagine a story without Erin. He seems far too important to the story to be a false protagonist.

    I haven’t been trolled this hard since I played Muv Luv Alternative.

    • May 9, 2013 at 2:28 amBerthold

      you’re trolling, right? xD

    • May 14, 2013 at 5:55 amTopboy

      If you ever read manga “Claymore”,this and that manga used the same plot device for solved situation like this.

  • May 8, 2013 at 4:58 pmAltasia

    This cant be the death of Eren! Maybe a automail lol, or some secret regarding the injection he recieved from his dad might turnout to be regenerative abilities?
    Or he becomes part of the titan and takes control of its mind.

    • May 10, 2013 at 1:00 amDropTable

      Probably the best theory I’ve heard so far…

      What lies under the basement of his old house (since he is wearing the key) is also definitely going to be one of the major reveals of the story… the plot armor is way too strong with Eren. The ability to regenerate limbs sounds really cheesy though…

      Anyway, I’m fully expecting Eren to cut his way out of the Eotenas in Episode 7 *speculation*.

  • May 8, 2013 at 9:43 pmlagann

    Much better episode. I’m liking the characters a lot more now. Eren is obviously not dead btw. If this was the case then the flashback with his dead injecting something into him would have virtually no significance whatsoever in the grand scheme of things.

  • May 9, 2013 at 8:04 amhyperborealis

    I wonder if this show has anything to do with Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels?

  • May 10, 2013 at 1:46 amMax

    I think I have an idea what’s going to happen, especially considering what kind of man Eren’s father was and (as lagann said) the flashback with his dad injecting SOMETHING into him. I’ll leave it there, because I would’nt want to spoil anything if I turn out to be right. But yeah, it’s highly unlikely that Eren is dead.

  • May 10, 2013 at 5:37 amsjneow

    that’s it, I’m going to read the manga!!!

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